Les dames du Bois de Boulogne
(1945) is a French film directed by Robert Bresson
. It is a modern adaptation of a section of Diderot
's Jacques le fataliste
(1796), telling the story of a man who is tricked into marrying a former prostitute
. The title means "the ladies of the Bois de Boulogne
", a park in Paris
was Bresson's second feature. It is also his last film to feature a cast entirely composed of professional actors.Roy Armes, French Cinema
, New York: Secker & Warburg (1985): 116. "In the 1950s Bresson was to renounce the use of professional actors, but here he obtains excellent performances from his principal actresses."
Hélène and Jean have pledged their love to each other, but are not engaged to marry. Their love affair allows dalliances with others, but they have promised to put each other first above all others. Hélène has been warned by a friend that Jean's love for her has cooled and fears this is correct. She tricks him into confessing, by pretending her own feelings for him have cooled to a friendship. She hides her shock and dismay when he enthusiastically accepts her as now just a friend instead of a lover. After he leaves her apartment, it is clear that she is devastated. But instead of mourning her love, she decides to exact a cruel revenge on him.
Young Agnès is a cabaret dancer. Her ambition was to become a ballerina at the Opera, but hard times have fallen on her, and in order to support... Read More